The Problem with Stop and Identify – SSCC #21

There has been a lot of back and forth by me regarding this one and actually including it as a criminal count.  I finally decided that it is due to the following facts:

  • The initial contact was not by an identified LEO.  Sorry but a shirt that says public safety officer doesn’t count.
  • That individual in question made physical contact without proper legal authority.
  • The initial contact had no legal purpose as there was no suspicious activity to warrant investigation or the belief that a crime had occurred.

That said, the New York State Patrol I’m afraid is technically in the clear.  Note I said technically.  New York is a stop and identify state.  What is problematic is this law is most easily abused, much like the declaration of a concealed firearm was in Ohio.  The initial contact was in no way legal, as there was no reasonable reason to believe a crime had occurred.  This LEO then assaulted one of the people he was intimidating and then called in the state police.  The state police with what they were informed at this point had given them enough to reasonably believe that a crime had occurred.  The problem is the issue is circular.  Identifying is what is claimed as the obstruction and a failure to identify, and to the state patrol officers all they know is what they were told over the radio.

This brings me to the second issue, as they were on foot, they have no duty to provide photo identification.  They government must supply identification should they be requiring it when no license is required for walking.  The individuals involved are at a loss when it comes to dealing with the mess that is the legal system and they knew none of the key words that should be used in a situation like this.  This further compounded the irritation exhibited by both state patrol officers.

If you are stopped on the street the conversation should go something like the following if you’re unfortunate enough to live in a stop and identify state*:

  • Officer: Sir I need to see Identification
  • You: Am I under arrest?
  • Officer: No, but I need to see identification.
  • You: Am I being detained?
  • Officer: No
  • You: Then you have no legal right to request me to identify (depends on state in this case it would work).

Another variation:

  • You: Am I being detained?
  • Officer: Yes
  • You: Why am I being detained?
  • Officer: (State’s a reasonable reason for being detained)
  • You: (Identify) State your name and address.
  • Officer: What are you doing here?
  • You: (State’s reason for being in area and what you are doing)

Third variation is much like the second but that’s if they say you are under arrest.  Again depending on the state they must inform you what you are being arrested for prior to the cuffs.  This is because some states allow you to resist an unlawful arrest, even by force.  If you pursue this route be careful and be sure you can win; it’s going to be a very tough fight.  Then again you might end up dead anyway, killed while handcuffed in the jail.

So on that final note: The stupid public safety officer is abusing the law to intimidate the public and twisting it to obtain the support of the state patrol.  The state patrol was acting within the law, but the law allows them too much leeway.

State Sponsored Criminal Count: 21

Because the job of “public safety” is to harass law abiding citizens on foot to the point of arrest by twisting poorly constrained legislation.

Found here.

*Note: I am not a lawyer, do not take this as legal advice, do any of the following at your own risk.  Make sure you know the applicable laws for the areas you live and are traveling in.


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About TMM

TMM is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. Many know his private name and information however due to the current political climate, many are distancing themselves due to the abandonment of Due Process.

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